Woody Radio DJ Mike Show #162 11/7/2020: Interviews with Kelly Hogan and Sean O’Brien!

This Fall season is really heating up…or cooling down…or a little bit of both. This episode of the Saturday THING was one I was definitely looking forward to. A chance to chat with an old friend and a new friend, both with interesting stories to tell, and new music out in the world.

We started off by meeting Kelly Hogan, vocalist extraordinaire. She’s part of the Chicago vocal quintet The Flat Five, who have just released their second album, “Another World”, on the great Pravda Records label. It’s been described as “twisted sunshine vocal pop”, which immediately caught my ear. It’s truly delightful to listen to.

A couple of years ago, I got to hear some of Kelly’s work with another Chicago band I admire, The Imperial Sound. She’s worked with Neko Case, and many others. So who are the other Flat Four? Nora O’Connor (also made an appearance on The Imperial Sound’s record, and worked with The Decemberists), Scott Ligon and Casey McDonough–who are LITERALLY half of NRBQ, and Alex Hall (J.D. McPherson). And they sing the songs of Chris Ligon, Scott’s brother, whose genius songs come to the Five, fully-formed, waiting for their equally genius vocal interpretations.

This conversation was a first for me–and perhaps for Woody Radio–Kelly was on her kayak, on a river in Wisconsin, on a rare warm November day. A ship to shore interview. And she was kayaking with her friend, the legendary cartoonist Lynda Barry, who paddled over to bring her a beer. That’s some radio magic right there! Our chat was fun and lively–Kelly has a great history in music, and we covered a lot of ground. Check out The Flat Five at http://www.theflatfivechicago.com.

Later on, we got to catch up with Sean O’Brien, all the way from the Bay Area. I usually have him on my show once or twice a year, and more often than not, it’s an in-person visit. The Bay Area is only a couple of hours from Sacramento, and Sean has logged some serious time in the Capital City. But this time, it was a phoner, as have been all my Woody Radio interviews during this time of quarantine.

Sean’s been quite prolific over the years, in several different bands, including his own Sean O’Brien and His Dirty Hands. The occasion of this intervew was twofold: to look back at some recordings from about 40 years ago, and to look forward at his next releases.

Sean’s original band, Meantime, was tearing up stages in Davis and Sacramento back in the late 70s and early 80s. Meantime eventually became True West, but not before recording a whole series of songs with Sean at the helm. These have been released before, on Sean’s compilation CD “The Drug of Memory”, but are now getting the vinyl treatment, as a freestanding album, “Two For One”. They are full of furious youthful punk energy. You’d almost not recognize that material as being from the same artist. The past few years, Sean’s music has been more cool and angular, and his vocals a bit reminiscent of David Byrne. Sean also let me play a new track on the show, “Devil In Bad Shoes”, which has a bouncy and danceable sound–adjectives you wouldn’t have used with his music in the past. Don’t worry–it’s still cool as all get out. 2021 looks to be another good musical year for Sean O’Brien, with more of his new music on the way. http://www.seanobmusic.com

Artist | Title | Album
Blake Jones & The Trike Shop | Sun Up | Everybody’s Unplugged Except Martin
Felsen | Rock and Roll’s Not Dead | I Dont Know How to Talk Anymore
Matt Langlois | Let Your Sunshine Out | Merde!
Glenn Case | Old Problem | That Sound, That Vibe
Sue Leonard | Bye Baby | Leonardville
Ryan and Pony | Trouble In Mind | Moshi Moshi
Allyson Seconds | Dig My Pig | Bag of Kittens
Poplord | I’d Fall Down | Full Filled
Rachel Taylor Brown | Little Gyre | Run Tiny Human
The Amplifier Heads | Funhouse Mirrors | Music For Abandoned Amusement Parks
The Bobbleheads | I Really See You | Myths And Fables
Richard X. Heyman | In A Sunlit Room | Pop Circles
Anny Celsi | Tangle-Free World | Kaleidoscope Heart: 12 Golden Hits
Lannie Flowers | My Street (Memphis version) | My Street EP
The Cleaning Ladys | Where I Live | Whaduya Want Fer Free?
Elk City | 25 Lines | Everybody’s Insecure

Kelly Hogan interview
The Flat Five | Butterflies Don’t Bite | Another World
The Flat Five | Drip a Drop | Another World
The Flat Five | Look at the Birdy | Another World

Sunshine Boys | Infinity Girl | Work and Love
The Armoires | Responsible (Reuptake) | Side Three
Natalie Cortez & the Ultra Violets | You Dear | Stupid Fresh Or Stupid Bad
Rob Martinez | If Love Could Lie | Maybe Miss America

Sean O’Brien interview
Sean O’Brien | Two for One | The Drug of Memory
Sean O’Brien | Some Say Yes | The Drug of Memory
Sean O’Brien and His Dirty Hands | Devil In Bad Shoes | Single release

Farrington | The Loner | Single release
DC Cardwell | Lies Are All You Speak | Crystal Set
Gretchen’s Wheel | interloper | such open sky
Bill Lloyd | Sorry, But I Gotta Take This | Don’t Kill The Messenger
The Judybats | Daylight | Native Son
Don Hawkins | Wrong Before | Observation Blind
Frank Black | Old Black Dawning | Frank Black
Gail George with Early Times | You Are There | The Barrio Sessions
Marshall Holland | I’m Checkin’ Out | Paper Airplane
Matthew Sweet | Ugly Truth Rock | Altered Beast
Karen Haglof | Because Of You | Tobiano
R Stevie Moore | What Do I Do With the Rest of My Life? | Afterlife
Anton Barbeau | Manbird | Manbird Disk 1
Lisa Mychols & SUPER 8 | Time Bomb | LISA MYCHOLS & SUPER 8
Petrified Max | Headline | Charlie Drove North
Sex 66 | I Dreamed I Was A Dragster | Grew Up Down
The Midnight Callers | 41 Miles To Roscoe | Red Letter Glow
Trip Wire | Act Fast | Once & Always
Molly Grue | Anyway | The happy ending cannot come in the middle of the story
Librarians With Hickeys | Looking For Home | Long Overdue
The JAC | Persistent Man | Faux Pas

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